Friday, February 22, 2013

Part 1: Hear Great Jazz on a Budget at 4 Clubs in NYC

(photo: Evi Abeler)
By Jacquelin Carnegie – (New York, NY)
Baby, when it’s cold outside, jazz will warm you up. And, when it’s too darn hot, jazz will cool you down. New York’s known for its big jazz clubs—the Blue Note, the VillageVanguard, and Birdland. But, you can hear great jazz in several smaller, more affordable venues.


Small's Jazz Club
183 West 10th St.; Tel: 212/252-5091; 
(Open: Daily, 7pm-4am; Cost: $25-$35 cover; students $10; 1 drink minimum; Get here early!)
Small’s is indeed a small, low-key venue that’s especially popular with jazz musicians themselves. After playing their own gigs, they come here to groove to the sounds of their compatriots and, occasionally, even to sit in on sets. There’s drinks, but no food.
Mezzrow (163 West 10th St.) Small's also runs Mezzrow, a nice jazz piano lounge, right down the block. (Live stream shows from both clubs for free.)
Zinc Bar
82 West 3rd St., btw Thompson & Sullivan; Tel: 212/477-9462;
(Open: Nightly, 6pm-3am; Cost: $25-$30 cover; 1 or 2 drink minimum)
This very nice space puts a spotlight on Brazilian, Caribbean, and Afro-Cuban jazz. There’s a pleasant bar area, where the cover is less, or sit at tables closer to the action.

The Jazz Gallery
SFJAZZ Collective (photo: GA-Photos)
1158 Broadway, at 27th St., 5th fl; Tel: 212-242-1063;
(Open: Wed-Sat; Sets: 7:30pm & 9:30pm; Cost: $20-$35*)
This is the place for serious jazz aficionados. No food or drinks are served, just pure listening pleasure. The Jazz Gallery moved into this space in the hip & happening Flatiron/NoMad district, after many years downtown. (*Become a member or get a JazzPass for even cheaper tickets and special deals. Also, Live Stream some shows for a moderate fee.)

Smalls, jazz guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel  
Jazz Bulletin: To find out what’s happening on the jazz scene in New York City on a regular basis, check out: HotHouse Jazz & The New York City Jazz Record. But, jazz clubs are not the only place to hear great music. Discover several unique venues to enjoy jazz on a budget in Part II.

Saying Goodbye: COVID dealt a blow to several wonderful venues including the off-the-beaten-track 55Bar and Harlem's famous jazz hangout, Showman’s, opened since 1942. We bid a fond, but very-sad, farewell.  

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